SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas)

December 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Christmas, Liz Estler, Praying Through Art, Solemnity

“Christ is born for us; come, let us adore him.”

(Invitatory Antiphon for Christmas Day, Liturgy of the Hours)

“Today our Savior is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life… Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God's own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member.” (From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope (Sermo 1 in Nativitate Domini, 1-3, PL 54, 190-193), Second Reading for Christmas Day, Office of Readings, Liturgy of the Hours).

As Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. states, “This ‘Child, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger' is our God, who, for us, has made Himself visible: our God, who shows us in the most concrete way His infinite charity… ‘God, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son…the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance' [Heb 1:1-12]. Jesus, the Incarnate Word, in His silence as a helpless Child, speaks to us and reveals to us the substance of God: His charity.” (Divine Intimacy, 2008, Baronius Press, London).

And so, Pope Benedict XVI writes, “From the moment of his birth, he belongs outside the realm of what is important and powerful in worldly terms. Yet it is this unimportant and powerless child that proves to be the truly powerful one, the one on whom ultimately everything depends. So one aspect of becoming a Christian is having to leave behind what everyone else thinks and wants, the prevailing standards, in order to enter the light of the truth of our being, and aided by that light to find the right path.” (Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, 2012, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano).

“God is…in the business of making new persons of us. No Advent, Christmas and New Year should be like any other Advent, Christmas and New Year. For the community at large and for us as individuals, the divine guarantee comes through clearly: ‘I am doing a new thing. I am making all things new.” (All Things New, Gerald O'Collins, S.J., 1998, Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey). This Christmas, let us imitate Mary's “Fiat” by cooperating with God's grace and allowing Him to make all things new in us according to His divine and holy plan.

May God richly bless you and your loved ones, and our fallen world, in new and wonderful ways this Christmas. May you always share with others the Joy and Love you have received. Wishing you a very Blessed and Merry Christmas.


Art: Anbetung des Kindes und der Hl. Bernhard (Adoration of the Child and St Bernhard), Filippo Lippi, circa 1459, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Liz Estler

Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Theology (Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

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